Golden Rain Tree

Common Name: golden rain tree 

Type: Tree

Family: Sapindaceae

Native Range: Northern China, Korea, Japan

Zone: 5 to 9

Height: 30.00 to 40.00 feet

Spread: 30.00 to 40.00 feet

Bloom Time: June to July

Bloom Description: Yellow

Sun: Full sun

Water: Dry to medium

Maintenance: Low

Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree, Flowering Tree

Flower: Showy

Leaf: Good Fall

Fruit: Showy

Tolerate: Drought, Clay Soil, Air Pollution



Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils. Tolerates drought and many city air pollutants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Koelreuteria paniculata, commonly called golden raintree, is a small, open-branching, irregularly-shaped, deciduous tree with a rounded crown which typically grows 30-40' tall and as wide. Features pinnate or bipinnate, feathery, compound leaves (to 18" long), each leaf having 7-17 irregularly lobed leaflets. Leaves emerge pinkish bronze to purplish in spring, mature to a bright green in summer and turn yellow (quality variable) in fall. Bright yellow flowers (1/2" wide) appear in early summer in long, terminal, panicles (12-15"). Falling blossoms may or may not resemble "golden rain", but the fallen blossoms often form an attractive golden carpet under the tree. Flowers give way to interesting, brown, papery seed capsules which somewhat resemble Chinese lanterns.


Genus name honors Joseph Gottlieb Koelreuter (1733-1806), professor of natural history at Karlsruhe, a pioneer experimental investigator of plant hybridization.


Specific epithet means in a panicle in reference to the floral inflorescence.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to root rot, leaf spot and canker.

Garden Uses

Small shade tree, street tree, lawns or terraces.

A new edition to the Asian Garden, be sure to check out the Golden Rain Tree.

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